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Irradiation of Atactic Polystyrene: Linear Energy Transfer Effects

Abstract : Atactic glassy polystyrene (PS) has been irradiated in anoxic conditions by electron and ion beams. The induced modifications were followed, in situ, by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In-film modifications and hydrocarbon gas release were followed. In-situ measurements allowed one to avoid any spurious oxidation of the films after irradiation and also permitted studying in detail the evolution with dose of the FTIR spectra. The data were quantitatively analyzed, and we present a complete analysis of the effects of the Linear Energy Transfer (LET) on the radiation chemical yields of several radiation-induced modifications (alkynes, allenes, alkenes, benzene, and disubstituted benzenes). For a better understanding of the LET effects, the in-film modifications are compared to H2 release data from the literature and to our measurements of hydrocarbon gaseous molecule yields obtained by us. The overall destruction yield becomes very significant at high LET, and the radiation sensitivity of this aromatic polymer merges with typical values of aliphatic polymers: the radiation resistance conferred at low LET to polystyrene by the phenyl side groups is lost at high LET. This loss of radiation resistance equally affects the aromatic and aliphatic moieties. Monosubstituted alkynes are created above a LET threshold, whereas the other radiation-induced modifications are observed in the whole LET range. Several observations indicate that the phenyl ring is broken at high LET. Comparison of the alkyne yield in PS, polyethylene, and polycarbonate as well as the formation of nitrile bonds in poly(vinylpyridine-co-styrene) are consistent with a cleavage of the phenyl ring as the prominent source of alkynes. As the competing damage mechanisms do not have the same LET evolution, the relative importance of a specific modification on the global damage depends on LET. Some (benzene and disubstituted benzenes) dominate at low LET, while others (in-film alkyne and acetylene release) dominate at high LET.
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Contributor : Chantal Brassy <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 26, 2008 - 2:29:08 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 5:45:28 PM


  • HAL Id : cea-00325163, version 1


Muriel Ferry, Yvette Ngono-Ravache, Virginie Picq, Emmanuel Balanzat. Irradiation of Atactic Polystyrene: Linear Energy Transfer Effects. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2008, 112, pp.10879-10889. ⟨cea-00325163⟩



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